New Medical Center in Candon, Ilocos Sur to Rise Soon

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Provinces up north will see better healthcare services with the construction of a new medical center in Ilocos Sur. The development can make it easy for residents to receive the medical assistance they need, especially those near the area, and also help ease the burdens on existing hospitals.

According to a Twitter post from the official page of the Department of Public Works and Highways, a new medical center will soon rise in Candon City. It is a satellite hospital of the Ilocos Training and Regional Medical Center (ITRMC), aimed at serving patients not just from Ilocos Sur, but also in Ilocos Norte and Abra. 

The new health center stretches out over 18,000 square meters, housing a 100-bed emergency room (ER) and an outpatient department (OPD), the Tribune reported. The ER construction amounts to P61.61 million, while the OPD is at P86.44 million.

ITRMC’s main headquarters is currently in San Fernando City, La Union. Established in 1945, the medical center provides quality healthcare through various means: supplying specialized medical services, promoting research projects, initiating preventive health programs, and empowering and equipping medical personnel.

The center offers various residency programs, including internal medicine, surgery, pediatrics, obstetrics and gynecology, radiology, and more. The training initiatives are all accredited by specialty boards.

A Snapshot of Healthcare Facilities in Ilocos Sur

The region has 30 operating hospitals, according to the 2012 data shown on the local government’s website. Eight are state-owned, while the remaining 22 are privately-run. As of writing, Gabriela Silang General Hospital in Vigan City is the only government-owned medical center that offers tertiary level of care. With a 100-bed capacity, it has specialized equipment and facilities, including CT scan, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), and a dialysis center. It also provides high-level services, such as orthopedic surgery, psychiatry, and ophthalmology. 

As for the private hospitals, St. Martin de Porres in Candon, Metro Vigan Cooperative Hospital in Bantay, and St. James Hospital in Vigan also have cutting-edge technology, offering CT scan and other specialized services. St. James and Metro Vigan Cooperative are equipped with dialysis centers, with a 45-bed and 100-bed capacity, respectively.

Six district hospitals are in key locations around the province. Among these, two provide secondary level of health care. These are the Southern Ilocos Sur District Hospital in Bio, Tagudin and the Central Ilocos Sur District Hospital in Narvacan.

In terms of barangay health stations, the region has a total of 214. The municipality of Tagudin has the most number, with 41 in total. Lidlidda, on the other hand, has none. Meanwhile, a total of 602 Botika ng Barangay are around the province. The community passed the standard ratio of one botika for two barangays. Taking everything into account, Ilocos Sur can benefit from additional medical facilities to ensure improved accessibility of healthcare.

Build, Build, Build in the Northern Region

Aside from healthcare buildings, the government pours in investments for other infrastructures. The goal is to spur economic growth in the area, generating employment opportunities and enticing investors. The most notable project is the construction of the Candon bypass road. 

Tagged as the “Heroes bypass road,” the new passageway helps decongest traffic along the section of Manila North Road. It reduces travel time from 40 minutes to a mere 20 minutes between the municipalities of Sta. Lucia and Santiago, as reported in AutoIndustriya. For motorists heading further north, the bypass road is an alternate route, covering eight barangays in Candon, including Ayudante, Parioc 1st, Calaoan, Oaig Daya, Bagani Gabor, Bagani Campo, Bagani Ubbog, and Tablac. The project costs around P700 million. 

The local government is optimistic that the new gateway will bring in promising economic opportunities. In the inauguration of the bypass road last year, Candon Mayor Ericson Singson shared that the local government is all the more committed to making their city a center of commerce and trade, the Philippine News Agency reported. The Build, Build, Build program of the national government inspired the LGU to have their own.

An ecotourism zone is part of the master plan to entice more investors and tourists. A 5,000-seater sports coliseum is included as well, where professional and amateur volleyball games and major competitions like Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) tournaments can be held. 

Furthermore, Singson identified three major infrastructure development projects, one being the improvement of ITRMC, while the other two were the construction of the Land Transportation Office in Bagani Campo and a community airport in Barangay Parioc, as shown in this report.

Sources: DPWH’s Twitter page, Daily Tribune, ITRMC, Ilocos Sur Gov, AutoIndustriya, Philippine News Agency, CandonCity.gov.ph

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